Want easy fishing and fast summer fishing action for multiple species? Slip bobbers open excellent opportunities for mixed panfish catches.
What you never know with summer panfishing is what species will be at the end of the line when a slip bobber darts out sight. More certain – assuming decent location choices – is the notion that you will get to watch your bobber go under several times. Slip bobber fishing is a highly dependable way to tap into summer panfish fishing action, and it is an easy style of fishing that is fun for the entire family.
Anglers commonly associate most panfishing pursuits with spring and early summer and stop targeting bluegills, perch, crappie and other panfish species once mid-summer hits and the fish become less plentiful around shallow, shoreline cover. Those fish seldom move far, though. Most just slide a bit deeper to a weedline, brushpile or slight break, to the deep end of a dock, out a point or to the deep edge of a riprap bank.
The Mayfly, a new crappie lure from Bobby Garland, effectively matches an aquatic insect but also can be used to suggest other crappie forage. Learn more about this innovative new bait.
Google “what do crappie eat,” and you’ll surely tire, reading through the seemingly endless results. Instead, let me summarize what pops up most: insects, crustaceans, minnows and shad. That science explains why Bobby Garland’s newest soft-plastic bait, the Mayfly, borrows a few traits from each of the crappie’s favored menu items in its innovative design.
By name alone, the Mayfly lure is clearly an imitation of the common aquatic insects found in lakes, streams and creeks throughout North America. Whether in the larval stage and under water or emerged as a winged adult Mayflies have legs, an elongated and segmented body, and two or three threadlike “tails” (officially called cerci). In either form, black and white crappie find Mayflies irresistible. Of the two crappie species, black crappie exhibit a special fondness for insects in their overall diets.
“Profile” has become the new buzzword in crappie fishing, thanks in large part to forward-facing sonar. The technology has opened anglers’ eyes through real-time viewing of what’s happening below in the interaction between crappie and lures in various situations and seeing the importance of a crappie lure’s profile.
Small crappie baits can produce big catches if you use the best fishing techniques. Learn about 5 proven approaches.
“Something’s changed,” avid crappie angler Gary Rowe said, as he watched another fish on his Garmin LiveScope follow and then shy away from the jig at the end of his line. Just minutes before, the Oklahoma angler and Bobby Garland pro staffer was telling me this was the very spot where he and his son had quickly finished out their summer crappie limits the day before. The crappie weren’t cooperating today, though.
Having witnessed the same scenario at two other places where Rowe had caught them the day before, I politely suggested “let’s go explore some new areas.” After all, I knew this long-time friend had more than 1400 crappie fishing waypoints on Fort Gibson Lake – from which he lives just a block away.
“Okay, but humor me for just a second,” he said, turning to grab another rod. No longer than it took for his new offering to reach the 10-foot cover, Rowe was snapping a hookset and lifting a crappie from the same brush we’d been fishing for the past 20 minutes. Grinning, but saying nothing, he admired the 10-incher and then gently tossed it back. On each of his next three drops, the results were the same: a keeper crappie coming aboard.
Learn about different crappie rigs that allow you to present soft-plastic crappie baits more effectively for a broad range of situations.
In my opinion, the most classic of all crappie rigs – a soft-plastic crappie bait rigged on a small jighead – is the most fish-catching tool on the planet. Think about it. The combo is so little that fish of all sizes, from tiny to giant, can and do eat it. We all have stories about catching – or at least hooking into – monsters of some kind on a crappie bait.
The crappie jig looks like food, most often imitating a prey fish or insect. Today’s technology allows for precision-made, multi-cavity aluminum molds that feature intricate design shapes and features. The result is a realistic forage match that appeals to most gamefish. Sometimes subtlety tempts the most. The perfect example is the teasing action of the flexible, straight tail on a Bobby Garland Baby Shad. Conversely, a bait with a crazy amount of tail action, like the heavy-thumping Bobby Garland Stroll’R, might drive attention.
A crappie jighead is the standard business partner for a host of soft-plastic crappie baits. However, at times, other crappie rigs, including some you might not consider, provide the best means for presenting these baits. Let’s look at ways that non-traditional weighting approaches can boost your crappie catching success.
If you ever wonder what color crappie lures to buy or tie on, this guide to top colors and picks from crappie fishing experts will aid future decisions.
Okay, here’s the dilemma. A buddy calls unexpectedly and says he’s just decided to go crappie fishing. He’ll be picking you up in 30 minutes. The problem’s not the short time, (most of us probably could be out the door in 15), but rather the fact that he instructed you to bring only one color of crappie fishing lure.
That’s it. ONE color! No additional details are given. You don’t know if the water is clear or muddy, or something in between. And you can’t help but wonder if the destination will have white crappie, black crappie or both.
Understanding how crappie see things can help you make better lure selections and more effective presentations.
Reprinted with permission from In-Fisherman, the following excerpt about a crappie’s vision is taken from “Making Sense of Crappie Behavior,” an article written by Steve Quinn that appeared in the In-Fisherman 2015 Panfish Guide. We feel the timeless knowledge is a real eye-opener as to just how much crappie depend on sight for their feeding preferences, and therefore wanted to share the information again here.
(Text is exactly as it appears in the article. Photos courtesy of Bobby Garland Crappie Baits)
Making Sense of Crappie Behavior
Biological Keys to Triggering a Hot Bite
By Steve Quinn
Watching crappies move under water demonstrates their cautious deliberate style that makes, at times, for the fastest fishing imaginable. Other times they leave us baffled, wondering where they went or why they won’t bite.
Learn how expert crappie angler recognize the end of the spawn and how they adjust fishing approaches to continue catching spring crappie.
Cold fronts have shut down the shallow-water action on certain days, but most of the time, the crappie have been aggressive and attacked nearly anything thrown near their spawning beds. However, in the last few days the shallow-water bite has been tapering off, so you begin to wonder whether those fish you were catching along the spawning banks have been wiped out by fishing pressure or if the crappie have quit spawning.
Crappie guides and tournament veterans look for certain signs to determine if the spawn is entering its final stage.
Spring brings some of the year’s best opportunities for crappie fishing from the bank. Learn how to find and catch more crappie with a shoreline approach.
Everything looked perfect for bank fishing for crappie. The water color, bottom makeup, bank slope and cover mix all seemed ideal. The only thing missing was the crappie – at least any crappie that were willing to bite!
So, I began walking and casting, targeting scattered laydowns and stumps and making “search” casts between pieces of cover. Maybe 100 yards from my starting point the chunk rock along the lake’s edge turned to gravel and the bank got a little flatter. Scattered wood a modest cast’s distance from the shore seemed shallow but looked inviting for crappie fishing.
I clipped a spring float about 18 inches from my jig and cast tight to the first piece of wood. The float barely got upright before racing sideways, and I set the hook into a solid crappie. Repeating that cast produced the same result. Twice. The next piece of wood produced a repeat performance. I had found the right set up, setting the stage a fun day of bank fishing for crappie.
Learn about the Mayfly, an innovative new crappie bait to be released by Bobby Garland this summer.
Great fishing secrets are hard to keep, and word has gotten out that a new Bobby Garland bait – The Mayfly – is on schedule to “hatch” in July. So rather than letting rumors confuse the facts, here are full details about this cool creation in advance of its summer availability.
The Mayfly is a 2.25-inch insect-profile design that stays true to Bobby Garland’s reputation of product innovation specific to crappie fishing. This new soft-plastic bait is loaded with features appealing to multiple senses crappie rely on for feeding.